Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex

Christopher Turner

Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex

In the middle of the 20th century, the United States became an adoptive home for dozens of expatriated European thinkers, who saw this rich, young country ripe for sexual liberation. One of the most left-field of them was the Viennese psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, a disciple of Freud’s who had broken with the master. Reich’s own approach was based on his theories of the orgasm and sexual energy, which he dubbed ‘orgone energy’. Instead of the couch, he made use of a tall, slender construction of wood, metal, and steel wool, which he called the orgone box... Adventures in the Orgasmatron is the story of the dawn of the sexual revolution in America – an illuminating and at times bizarre tale of sex and science, ecstasy and repression. 3.6 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Sex & Sexuality, Biography
Format Hardback
Pages 400
RRP £25.00
Date of Publication August 2011
ISBN 978-0007181575
Publisher Fourth Estate
 

In the middle of the 20th century, the United States became an adoptive home for dozens of expatriated European thinkers, who saw this rich, young country ripe for sexual liberation. One of the most left-field of them was the Viennese psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, a disciple of Freud’s who had broken with the master. Reich’s own approach was based on his theories of the orgasm and sexual energy, which he dubbed ‘orgone energy’. Instead of the couch, he made use of a tall, slender construction of wood, metal, and steel wool, which he called the orgone box... Adventures in the Orgasmatron is the story of the dawn of the sexual revolution in America – an illuminating and at times bizarre tale of sex and science, ecstasy and repression.

Wilhelm Reich: the man who invented free love | Christopher Turner | Guardian (8/7/11)

Reviews

The Financial Times

George Pendle

Comprehensively researched, enlightening and darkly funny … Considering Reich was a chronic philanderer, a violent bully, and, at times, clearly delusional, it is to Turner’s great credit that he manages to paint his protagonist as a sympathetic figure.

29/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Dominic Sandbrook

Reich’s life, deftly chronicled in Christopher Turner’s clever and colourful book, makes an extraordinarily fascinating story … [A] terrific book

31/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Times

Murad Ahmed

… a wonderful, thorough and engaging book … The author skilfully merges the tale of Reich’s life with a social history of the times.

06/08/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Telegraph

Lewis Jones

Turner has done an exhaustively thorough, if somewhat humourless job. He makes some interesting points about Reich’s unwitting influence on the arts ... and about the way advertising absorbed erotic liberation into what Eli Zaretsky called “a sexualised dreamworld of mass consumption”. But Turner never quite answers the question with which he begins: “What does it tell us about the ironies of the sexual revolution that the symbol of liberation was a box?” And he misquotes Philip Larkin.

07/08/2011

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

Richard Davenport-Hines

Adventures in the Orgasmatron has the virtues and vices of a first book. Turner is eager and zestful about his subject: his interviews with the survivors of Reich’s story crackle with excitement, and there is a humane undertone to all he writes. But he has not taken control of his material. There are too many callow or digressive descriptions of the incidents and people in Reich’s career.

02/08/2011

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore